Eyebrow lift at a glance
- Brow lifts reverse gravitational signs of aging by lifting the eyebrow and forehead into a more youthful position.
- Brow lift surgery typically lasts one to two hours.
- Multiple surgical methods are available depending on facial structure and patient goals.
- Visible healing requires about two weeks.
What is an eyebrow lift?
Brow lifts tighten and lift the eyebrows, forehead skin and eye area into a youthful position. Brow lifts also tighten deep horizontal wrinkles across the forehead.
Overtime, eyebrows may begin to fall below the top of the orbital rim—the bone at the top of the eye socket. This position may cause patients to appear sad or grumpy. Brow lifts can be combined with similar procedures such as a facelift depending upon the envisioned results.
How is a brow lift performed?
Once considered an invasive surgery, modern brow lifts require skilled methods that use smaller incision points. Typically, the incision points occur on the scalp and are completely covered by hair.
An eyebrow lift begins with anesthesia. After the patient is sedated, the surgeon then makes incisions along the hairline. The location and size of the incision depends on the type of brow lift.
During an open eyebrow lift, sometimes called a classic lift, the surgeon makes one continuous incision beginning across the forehead and around the hairline or forehead crease.
An endoscope brow lift differs because a surgeon will insert an endoscope, a long thin tube with an attached light and video camera, below the surface of the skin. Using the endoscope camera as a guide, the surgeon will then make several micro-incisions in the scalp. Endoscope lifts are the least invasive brow procedure for patients, yet provides dramatic results. Since this procedure has fewer and smaller incisions, the recovery time is shorter.
A limited incision brow lift utilizes small incisions, and does not use an endoscope. The surgeon uses these minimal incisions to lift the lateral brow area, giving a pleasing, youthful appearance.
Once incisions are made, the surgeon lifts the forehead skin and upper eyebrows. After the surgeon tightens and repositions skin and muscles, s/he closes the incisions with skin adhesives, sutures or surgical tape.
Recovering from an eyebrow lift
Visible healing will take about two weeks, however full patient recovery may last several months. Patients should sleep on their back and with an elevated head for three to five days following surgery. Incision sutures will be removed a week after surgery.
Patients may return to work and normal, non-strenuous activities at two weeks, however may not feel completely healed for one month following a brow lift. As the nerves regrow to their new position and full sensation is restored, numb skin may become itchy. The permanent effects of a brow lift may not finalize until the sixth month following the procedure.
Risks and considerations of a brow lift
Specific risks related to brow lifts include eye irritation or dryness, elevated hairline and persistent numbing and discomfort. Blood clotting, infection and adverse anesthesia reactions may also occur as a general surgical risk.
Depending on the location of the hairline, patients may need to trim small section of hair away for full visibility during the surgery. Permanent hair loss is extremely rare, but hair shafts surrounding the incision points may thin for a few weeks to a month following a brow lift. Hair will grow in its normal pattern after the tissue has fully healed.